Athletes and Media React to Ray Rice Domestic Violence Video and ReleaseSeptember 8, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Sept. 21
Ray Lewis reacted to Ray Rice's situation on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown this morning:
Updates from Thursday, Sept. 11
Paul George tweeted about the Rice situation on Thursday morning, but he deleted the tweets after the fact (screenshots courtesy of Sports Illustrated and Kelly Cohen of the Washington Examiner):
George then apologized for his statements:
Pacers team president Larry Bird issued a statement regarding George's tweets, and George issued a formal apology as well, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:
Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 10
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com provides a statement from Michael Vick on WFAN radio commenting on if Ray Rice should get a second chance following the announcement of his release from the Ravens and indefinite suspension:
I hope so.
Honestly, I wouldn’t know what to tell Ray Rice right now. That’s just being transparent with you right now. That situation is just so out of control. I just hope masses of people learn from this. As athletes, we understand the position that we’re in, and that we are superior athletes. Some things you’ve got to learn to bottle up. There are so many different ways to handle things that come about. We’ve just always got to be mindful and competent when we’re in those situations.
Floyd Mayweather also weighed in on Rice's situation on FightHubTV:
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 9
Darren Rovell of ESPN updated Ray Rice's relationship with Nike:
Those upset about the relative lack of discipline for Ray Rice are even angrier Monday after TMZ released a video showing his specific actions of domestic abuse.
The NFL suspended the Baltimore Ravens running back in July for two regular-season games after a February altercation with his wife (then-fiancee), Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino elevator.
However, the Ravens announced Rice's release less than 10 hours after TMZ posted the footage from inside the elevator:
While there was dispute over what actually took place in the elevator, this is no longer in question.
WARNING: Following video contains graphic content.
According to Greg Aiello, commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to suspend Rice indefinitely in light of this new information:
Unsurprisingly, those who viewed the latest video had strong reactions to the behavior of the three-time Pro Bowler. They also expressed a mixture of approval and skepticism when Baltimore released Rice.
The White House released a statement via the NBC Nightly News Twitter account:
Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe pointed out the Ravens only made the move after public backlash became too much of a public relations nightmare:
ESPN's Adam Schefter wondered if Rice will ever get another NFL shot:
His colleague Bomani Jones agreed:
Andrew Brandt of NFL Network noted that the Ravens will not have to pay him for being on the 53-man roster in 2014:
Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel wondered if Rice would have been released had the second video not come to light:
Skepticism was the overarching theme of most reactions. Eric Koreen of the National Post offered his thoughts, saying the Ravens were making the move only for a public relations standpoint:
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller offered a suggestion for one way the Ravens could help win back some upset fans:
Ray Lewis also commented on his former teammate (via Justin Fenton and Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun):
Following the release, sporting goods stores started pulling Rice's jersey (via Darren Rovell of ESPN and Eric Kay of CBS Sports):
Rovell also reported that Rutgers is in the process of removing Rice from its materials:
Former Ravens teammate Chris Canty commented on his feelings toward Rice via Jeff Darlington of NFL.com:
Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton was one of the most outspoken players:
Fellow Broncos defender Chris Harris offered a similar opinion:
Former Broncos and current Washington Redskins safety Duke Ihenacho also weighed in on the video:
Former New Orleans Saints offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley shared his thoughts on the incident:
Another former member of the Saints, Scott Fujita, had some choice words about Rice (WARNING: LANGUAGE IS NSFW).
Former Bears coach and current ESPN analyst Mike Dikta commented on how this will impact Rice via Deadspin.com: "I don't know Ray at all. I'm sure he's not a bad guy, but he made a bad mistake. Hey, two lives, are ruined. These two lives are ruined. His earning power is destroyed. That's an important thing."
Journeyman quarterback Brady Quinn believes Rice should be out of the league:
Former quarterback Rich Gannon thinks the NFL needs to punish Rice further:
Of course, it was not just players who had an emotional reaction to the released footage. ESPN's Max Bretos questioned the thought process behind the incident:
Rich Eisen of NFL Network was also among those disturbed by the video:
Before Baltimore released Rice, Grantland's Bill Simmons challenged the team to do just that:
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports also believed the organization could take action where the league did not:
Taking it a step further, ESPN.com's Jason Whitlock does not think Rice will ever play in the NFL again:
ESPN's Keith Olbermann laid blame on commissioner Roger Goodell:
Peter Burns of the SEC Network shares how he believes the NFL can still save itself in this situation:
While it remains to be seen what type of additional action the league will take following the released footage and the team's decision to cut him, it is clear there are a lot of angry people wanting further discipline for the running back.
Rice already had an uphill battle of repairing his public image after his actions and suspension. Now, if he does return to the field this season or any other season, it bears watching how teams, players and the fans react in light of this latest footage.
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